The Null Device
Richard Dawkins looks at the WTC attack, and puts the blame on religious delusion:
If a significant number of people convince themselves, or are convinced by their priests, that a martyr's death is equivalent to pressing the hyperspace button and zooming through a wormhole to another universe, it can make the world a very dangerous place. Especially if they also believe that that other universe is a paradisical escape from the tribulations of the real world. Top it off with sincerely believed, if ludicrous and degrading to women, sexual promises, and is it any wonder that naive and frustrated young men are clamouring to be selected for suicide missions?
To fill a world with religion, or religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used.
The WTC attack: Intelligence consultancy Stratfor believes that clues left behind by the terrorists were red herrings, designed to throw investigators off the trail and buy them time.
The attackers knew how to avoid detection by the National Security Agency and other technical intelligence outfits while organizing outside the United States. They also knew how to avoid suspicion once in the United States. That means they had a sophisticated understanding of how U.S. intelligence works and the discipline to avoid triggering suspicion. It is nearly unbelievable that an organization capable of carrying out such a complex operation would leave behind relatively obvious evidence.
There are also unconfirmed reports that pictures of Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, widely viewed as a prime suspect in the attacks, and copies of the Quran were left in rental vehicles used by the suspects. For intelligence operatives who earlier exhibited remarkable skill, such theatrics do not make sense.
I thought that the car full of Arabic-language flight manuals seemed a bit too obvious.